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Apparel Prices Drop Again in March

After slowing in February, U.S. apparel price deflation reared its ugly head again in March, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The combined consumer price index for apparel and footwear dipped by 0.6% compared to March 2015. 

Inflation for all items increased by nearly 1 percent year-over-year, almost even with February’s rise. Taking food and energy out of the mix, the increase was 2.2%, due primarily to increases in housing and medical service costs.


Prices for apparel fell by almost 1 percent, as retailers resorted to price promotions and couponing to try to coax reluctant shoppers into stores. Footwear prices increased by 0.4%.


Women’s apparel prices were virtually flat, while men’s prices plunged by 3.7%.


While boys’ apparel prices fell 1.7%, prices of girls’ apparel edged down only slightly. Infants’ and toddlers’ prices dipped by 0.2%.